Toddlers have tastebuds too

Who is it that decided smaller humans don’t deserve good food? When did the chicken finger, tater-tot and vienna sausage diet come into fruition? When was the last time you opened up a can of those little, mealy ‘meat’-sticks for yourself and called it dinner? Then why do we insist on serving the little ones things that we wouldn’t serve ourselves? Maybe it began after I was an adolescent because my mother never treated my brother and I as inferior food subjects. We ate what she and my father ate. We were eating raw oysters on the Intercoastal Waterway by age 3 and sushi at the bar by the age of 10. I don’t remember a chicken finger being a part of my vocabulary until I went to college and discovered that’s what grown males and females were ordering off of the childrens’ menu. (I didn’t even know that a ‘childrens’ menu even existed. Even the thought of it now makes me so sad) So naturally when I became a mother I decided that my little one would experience real food as soon as his little tummy could take it. By 6 months, his baby food (that I handmade) was being flavored with everything from garlic to cinnamon and cilantro. So now, at 16 months, he loves everything we love because we never dumbed down his food. It pains me to hear parents tell their curious kids, “Oh no honey, you won’t like that” when they reach out for something. And I hear so many parents complain about their kids being ‘picky eaters’. Well it’s our job, as parents, to not allow that to happen. Let your kids explore food! Bring them in the kitchen with you and have them ‘stir’ along side of you or help you pick out the produce at the grocery store. Teach them that food is something to be enjoyed and I promise you, you will have a much easier time at the dinner table.

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